Regular exercise after liposuction surgery is vital to maintaining a flat stomach, according to a recent study. Reuters reports that researchers from the University of São Paulo have found that failing to exercise after recovering from liposuction can cause an increase in harmful visceral fat.
The study, which was published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, involved 36 women who had liposuction to remove abdominal fat. None of the women had engaged in regular exercise before the surgery. However, two months after receiving liposuction, half of the women began a regular exercise routine, working out three times per week.
Four months after the procedure, the researchers found that all of the study participants still had flatter abdomens, but the group of women who had not exercised had an increase in visceral fat. The women who had exercised did not develop these deposits.
Visceral fat refers to fatty deposits that surround the internal organs, especially the liver. Unlike subcutaneous fat, which lies just beneath the skin and can be pinched, visceral fat lies deep within the abdominal cavity and often goes undetected. Previous studies have indicated that visceral fat is responsible for metabolic disturbances and increased risks for heart disease and diabetes. It is also been found to be associated with breast cancer and gallbladder problems.
The Brazilian researchers concluded that “if one should choose to undergo liposuction, it is very important [to] exercise after surgery.” It remains uncertain why visceral fat increases after liposuction surgery in patients who don’t regularly exercise.
While this study had a small sample size, it reinforces the well-known fact that liposuction is not a substitute for diet and exercise. Responsible plastic surgeons already strongly encourage their patients to maintain a healthy lifestyle after liposuction surgery. Otherwise, it is almost impossible to maintain the results over a long period of time.